The Mix Tape, Vol. 17
We are back in Michigan this weekend for a wedding. We flew this time, so I don’t have a new post about the trials and tribulations of a 22-hour drive with the family. (But you can read about the summer trip here.)
Anyway, thanks to everyone up here who kept the warm weather around for a while longer.
On strength training
I don’t write much about fitness. Maybe I should, though.
And I’m not here to preach, but I’m a huge proponent of fitness in middle age, when many of us start to ease off the gas pedal.
We often think of aging as a gradual process, maybe even a graceful one.
But sometimes, aging falls on you like an anvil out of the sky, all at once. You can get the Wyle E. Coyote treatment.
So fight back.
Strength training is so important to aging well:
It helps keep your muscles strong, giving greater mobility and helping avoid the risk of falling
It helps keep your bones strong, also helping to avoid the risk of fractures that lead to injury
It speeds up your metabolism and increases your energy
It helps you maintain a physically attractive appearance
It improves your brain function
Don’t be intimidated. Start slow. Get help setting up a program if you need to.
And you don’t need to spend 17 hours a week in the gym.
Thirty minutes, two or three times a week, can create profound changes in your health (and how you look).
Start now, not next year.
There are no guarantees, obviously. But give yourself the best change to glide that gradual, graceful path to aging.
The older you thanks you in advance.
iOS 13 is out, but don’t upgrade yet
It’s that time of year for irrational iPhone purchases—and for a new version of Apple’s operating system, iOS. But hold the phone, so to speak. Don’t upgrade until iOS 13.1 drops next week:
The version of iOS 13 that’s shipping out to customers today feels rushed out the door. Between my own tests and those of other Verge staffers, we’ve run into a lot of significant bugs: apps randomly crash when opening them, cellular signals drop, the Camera app can be slow, pictures have randomly gotten new dates assigned to them, AirDrop has had issues, the text field flips out sometimes in iMessages, and more. You probably won’t run into all of these problems, but, odds are, you’ll run into some of them.
Nothing too amazing in this new version: a “dark mode” interface (seen above), and some nice changes to Photos, Maps, and Reminders.
And again, 13.1 drops September 24, and should be far less buggy. Wait for that update.
Steve Jobs helped bring Mickey Mouse and Iron Man together
Disney CEO Bob Iger has a new autobiography coming out, and has released an excerpt about Disney’s $4B acquisition of Marvel:
"In 2009, after our very successful acquisition of Pixar, we were interested in acquiring Marvel, so I met with Steve and walked him through the business," Iger said. "He claimed to have never read a comic book in his life ('I hate them more than I hate video games,' he told me), so I brought an encyclopedia of Marvel characters with me to explain the universe to him and show him what we would be buying. He spent about 10 seconds looking at it, then pushed it aside and said, 'Is this one important to you? Do you really want it? Is it another Pixar?'"
Iger said that he asked Jobs to reach out to Marvel's chairman and former CEO Ike Perlmutter to "vouch for me."
It’s insane to think about the scale of impact Steve Jobs had on the world.
Oh, Iger also said this:
Can you imagine a company of that size and influence?
Detailing a tragedy
Maureen Tkacik at the New Republic, with an investigative piece about what has gone wrong at Boeing:
Nearly two decades before Boeing’s MCAS system crashed two of the plane-maker’s brand-new 737 MAX jets, Stan Sorscher knew his company’s increasingly toxic mode of operating would create a disaster of some kind. A long and proud “safety culture” was rapidly being replaced, he argued, with “a culture of financial bullshit, a culture of groupthink.”
This is a long and scathing piece about tragedy resulting from labor cost reductions, Wall Street pressures, and overconfidence in technology:
Here, a generation after Boeing’s initial lurch into financialization, was the entirely predictable outcome of the byzantine process by which investment capital becomes completely abstracted from basic protocols of production and oversight: a flight-correction system that was essentially jerry-built to crash a plane. “If you’re looking for an example of late stage capitalism or whatever you want to call it,” said longtime aerospace consultant Richard Aboulafia, “it’s a pretty good one.”
The ultimate rule of the Boeing cockpit is that pilots can override any action technology takes in operating a plane.
However, with the MAX, pilots were not trained to override a system that, in response to a sensor, automatically dipped the plane’s nose over and over again:
Pilots are familiar with this philosophy. It’s one of the things that makes flying a Boeing different from flying an Airbus.
The Lion Air pilot was certain he could turn off whatever was trying to crash his plane, so he temporarily handed over the controls to his co-pilot and scanned the manual. Ninety seconds later, everyone was dead.
This article isn’t a fun read. But it’s well-researched and written.
This week in things we should not buy from Facebook
Facebook wants to watch you watch TV:
Facebook wants to take over your television with a clip-on camera for video calling, AR gaming and content co-watching. If you can get past the creepiness, the new Portal TV lets you hang out with friends on your home’s biggest screen. It’s a fresh product category that could give the social network a unique foothold in the living room, where, unlike on phones where it’s beholden to Apple and Google, Facebook owns the hardware and operating system
And, in the product pipeline, Facebook wants to see everything you see ever:
Facebook has been working to develop augmented reality glasses out of its Facebook Reality Labs in Redmond, Washington, for the past couple of years, but struggles with the development of the project have led the company to seek help. Now, Facebook is hoping a partnership with Ray-Ban parent company Luxottica will get them completed and ready for consumers between 2023 and 2025, according to people familiar.
The glasses are internally codenamed Orion, and they are designed to replace smartphones, the people said. The glasses would allow users to take calls, show information to users in a small display and live-stream their vantage point to their social media friends and followers.
Anything that gives Facebook more ways to collect data should be launched into space.
Tom Brady will still be playing quarterback 417 years from now
Thanks for reading! See you next week.